July 29, 2008
Diagnosis and Symptoms, Type 2 in Youth
Question from Lithonia, Georgia, USA:
My 10 and a half-year-old daughter has gained 73 pounds in two years. She was always heavier than her counterparts, but she is also taller. However, over the last two years, she had a massive weight gain putting her over 200 pounds at 5 feet, 3 inches. I went to her pediatrician for answers. I was told that her insulin level is 170, but her glucose is 80 mg/dl [4.4 mmol/L], which is within normal levels. Her cholesterol and hemoglobin are also within normal limits. I was told that she is not pre-diabetic nor diabetic, but, gone unchecked, could be one day. Her doctor is attempting to have a nutritionist approved by my insurance carrier and suggested that I review this web site. All of the research that I have done points to insulin resistance syndrome. I am looking for suggestions on what else can be done to help my daughter.
The insulin level you describe is extremely high, but this occurs with such morbid obesity. The answer is always rather simple, but difficult to accomplish. One must change the excess calories going in and one must burn off more calories with exercise. If this is a pre-diabetes condition, then medication such as metformin sometimes is helpful, especially, for instance, if she has acanthosis nigricans – a condition with very dark, velvety skin usually at the neck, axillary and groin regions. The more the entire family participates to lower calories each day, the better. The more the entire family shuts off the television and exercises together, also the more likely that exercise will be increased each day.The goal should be more than one hour of hard activity – dancing; Dance, Dance Revolution; sit ups; treadmill; exercycle; swimming laps, etc. – the better. It is usually a combination of cutting calories and increasing exercise that works. Other tests to be checked would include blood pressure and fasting lipid profile as well as liver functions. Rarely, hypothyroidism also co-exists but usually is not the cause of such massive obesity.